Monday, July 30, 2012

Seriously Spoiled!

We are less than a week away from meeting our girls for the first time.  And we are STILL receiving photos of the girls.  I am so spoiled. And feel so blessed.

"A shy cute little girl! ~ ~ Chest red scarf more bright"

This was the caption under this photo.  :-)

Friday, July 27, 2012

Our Travel Plans

Yay!  Things are coming together.  We have our flights booked. Our in-country plans are made (we just have to pay for them LOL) and we've started to pack (and then repack).  Below are the plans for the next 2 weeks.

Thursday 8/2 6:18 AM Leave Tampa (United Flight 675)
                      8:09 AM Arrive in Chicago
                      12:05 PM Leave Chicago (United Flight 851)
Friday     8/3  2:40 PM Arrive in Beijing  (2:40 AM Friday morning EST)

Saturday 8/4  Sightseeing: Great Wall, Forbidden City & Tiananmen Square

Sunday  8/5    8:15 AM Fly to Hefei, Anhui
                      10:00 AM Arrive in Hefei, Anhui

Monday 8/6    GOTCHA DAY!!!!!
                       9:30 AM go to Civil Affairs Office to Meet Girls

Tuesday 8/7  9:30 AM Go to Civil Affairs to do registration
                      1:00 PM drive to Huainan to do passport paperwork
                      3:00 PM Visit Orphanage

Wed      8/8   9:30 AM Visit the Zoo

Thurs    8/9   9:30 AM Visit to Baogongci

Friday  8/10  (Our 21st Wedding Anniversary!)
                      3:00 PM Get Passport
                      7:15 PM Fly to Guangzhou
                      9:10 PM Arrive in Guangzhou

Saturday 8/11 9:30 AM Visa Photos taken
                                       Medical Appointment & TB Test

Sunday 8/12   9:30 AM  Sightseeing tour of Chen Family's Temple

Monday 8/13  10:00 AM Get TB test result

Tuesday 8/14 8:30 AM Consulate Appointment

Wed      8/15  3:00 PM  Get The Girls Visa's
                       4:12 PM Take Train to Hong Kong

Thurs 8/16     10:25 AM Leave Hong Kong (United Flight 116)
                        1:55 PM   Arrive in Newark, NJ
                        6:20 PM   Leave Newark (United Flight 1637)
                        9:28 PM  Arrive in Tampa

Remember, We will be 12 hours ahead of home (EST).

We would love to have an airport welcome, if you are willing to get out that late.  :-)  If you do come, please take your cameras and take photos for us.  Just in case we are too exhausted to get ours out (or too lazy) LOL

I do plan on updating the blog and Facebook when we are in China.  If for some reason I can not get access, I will have Tiffani do the updates from home.

We are very excited and can not wait to meet the girls. Please pray that they are just as excited as we are. Pray for their hearts to be open and accepting of their new life they are about to have. Please pray for health for all of us and for safety.  Pray that the heat will not be too unbearable.  Pray for great bonding time while we are in China.

Also please pray for our kids at home.  It's going to be so hard to leave them again. But we know that we need this time with Hope & Maggie.  Pray that they will have fun and not be too homesick. Pray for their safety & for their health, that everyone will stay healthy while we are gone.  We have great friends who will be watching our kids. We feel blessed that they have offered to watch them.

Please email me while we're gone. I know how homesick I become when I'm in China.  You can leave a message on the blog or email me at  Even if you send a quick "hello", that will make my day.  :-)

Thank you for following our journey.


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

More Photos

I was shocked when I woke up yesterday to find MORE photos of Hope & Maggie.  I was not expecting to see any more.  But a new friend sent her new daughter a "forever family" party (like we did for Hope & Maggie) and guess what?  Hope & Maggie were at the party.  And they were sitting together.  I love it.  Here are a few photos....

Then another online friend sent me a link to photos she found online.  These photos were taken in May I believe.  I love that we can see the backs of their heads in one photo. We can see how long their hair is.  I can not wait to meet them and hug them.  12 more days!!!!!  Oh, and in case you were wondering....we have bought several headbands & hair bows for them.  :-)  We are coming prepared.

Oh, one last photo.  Again this was found online.  I love the "action" photo.  (Hope is in the green jacket on the left).

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Flights are Booked!

I am happy to announce that our flights are FINALLY booked.  Boy was that a chore.  You see, we signed up for the Continental Airlines Master Card when we started the adoption.  We have been charging EVERYTHING on it to earn miles to use for the adoption.  Well.....lets just say it took a lot of work to find the perfect flights where we could use the points.

Our adoption agency had a travel agent who sent us flights that they had on hold.  I did not like the flights.  So we contacted another travel agent. He came back with the SAME flights but more money. So of course Bill was online doing his own research.

One problem is we needed to book the girls flights ourselves because we had the points.  We were nervous to have someone else book our flights separate.

We went to bed last night praying we would wake up to cheaper/better flights.  No such luck. They were MORE money.  We were stressed out.

So, we knew we had flights on hold using our adoption agency's agent so we tried seeing if we could get the girls flights using the points.  Online kept saying none available.  But if we changed the airport to Orlando they showed up.  Bill called.  They said they don't see it. But if we pick Orlando then they will change it to Tampa.  That made me nervous.

About 10 min later a lot of flights opened up.  And there is was.  The flight we wanted.  It was not there yesterday or even earlier this morning.  The flight from Newark.  You see, the 2 agents had us flying home Hong Kong to Chicago to Tampa, with a 7 1/2 hour layover in Chicago. And landing in Tampa after 11 PM.  I did not want that.  The Newark flight is Hong Kong to Newark with a 4 hour layover. Then landing in Tampa at 9:30 PM.  Much better.  So we booked it.

We were able to get the girls 1 way tickets home using the reward points.  So they were "FREE"!  Then Bill saw that upgrading to economy plus was not that much more. So we did it.  The flights are no where the cost they were in the winter, but they are not that expensive considering it's summer. (we've been them even higher, just for coach seats).

So here is our schedule.  We would love to have an airport welcome if you would like to be there.  My kids will be there.

United Airlines
August 2         Flight 675  6:18 AM.  Arrive Chicago 8:08 AM
                       Flight 851 12.05 PM.  Arrive Beijing   2:40 PM Friday afternoon Aug 3rd

August 16      Flight 116 10:25 AM.  Arrive Newark 1:55 PM
                     Flight 1637  6:20 PM.  Arrive Tampa 9:28 PM

Friday, July 13, 2012


Yay!  We are jumping for joy at our house.  We received word today that our Travel Approval is here.  Our agency is trying to get our Consulate Appointment for the week of August 14th.  Which means we could be leaving around August 2nd.  We are so happy and excited.  We can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

If we leave on the 2nd, we will be home before the 1st day of school.  My hope this whole time.  We should know our confirm travel dates on Monday or Tuesday.

Woo Hoo!!!!  Hope & Maggie we'll be there soon.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Another Blessing

We were blessed to have received another photo of the girls.  I have met several wonderful families who are also adopting children from Huainan and they have all been able to meet our girls.  This week a family is there and they saw them. This is what the mom wrote.  "We met your beautiful girls and they know you are coming. They are so sweet. Maggie is kind and was with us in the baby room. The older girls help. She watched us intently and happily smiled for a picture. When they went to find Hope for the picture, she too came happily. She was a bit sad at one point, we were not sure why but calmed down quickly and was with Maggie watching us intently. They know you love them and they have a family and will come in August hopefully."

I'm so happy to read this. Not happy that Hope was sad.  But happy that they know we are coming.  We can not wait.  Hopefully just a few more weeks.  

Here is the photo.  They were told to smile for "Mama & Baba".